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End diesel-only trains by 2040 – rail minister

Jo Johnson is looking for the industry to come forward with emission-reducing initiatives by the autumn.

Rail Minister Jo Johnson is calling for diesel-only trains to be taken off the tracks by 2040.

Mr Johnson will use his first major speech in the role to say Britain needs to be more environmentally ambitious because increased travel has resulted in greater carbon emissions.

He is expected to say: “I would like to see us take all diesel-only trains off the track by 2040.

“If that seems like an ambitious goal, it should be and I make no apology for that.

“After all, we’re committed to ending the sales of petrol and diesel cars by 2040. If we can achieve that, then why can’t the railway aspire to a similar objective?”

If that seems like an ambitious goal, I make no apology for that Jo Johnson

Mr Johnson is giving the industry a six-month time frame to come forward with initiatives.

“I am calling on the railway to provide a vision for how it will decarbonise. And I expect the industry to report back by the autumn.”

The minister will suggest that rail can shift to lower emissions by utilising new bi-mode technology and alternative fuels.

“New bi-modes are a good bridging technology to other low emission futures,” he will say.

“They are fitted with modern diesels – which we started introducing last autumn on the Great Western line – and are less polluting than the trains they replaced.”

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